While photography has played a role in my activities for much of my life, that role has not been as an art form. Photography has largely been for the purpose of recording some fact or event. It was only as I began to think in terms of retirement from the legal profession that I began to see photography for what it could truly be. These revelations came as a surprise, because it was the art form of photography that first attracted my interest to this medium, but along the way it was “hijacked” by my intense focus on the forensic aspects of a law practice. How much more exciting and meaningful photographs became when I began to see them as a means to express an emotional response to the subjects I was viewing.
My goals now are not just to make a pretty picture and frame it, nor are my goals to record just the facts untainted with personal feelings or emotions. My goals are to facilitate an emotional connection with what the viewer is seeing which may include solace, refuge, sanctuary, spirituality, discovery and inspiration. Our lives are often too busy to otherwise take time to experience them. As one who rarely made time to appreciate beautiful flowers or nature’s beauty I am stunned to find myself seeing and feeling in ways photography never seemed to provide before.
An artistic approach is about the photographer’s vision, response to the subject of the photograph, and the anticipated response of potential viewers. To the extent a photograph can facilitate an emotional connection with the viewer it qualifies as fine art. I believe no amount of technology or software can make the hundreds of critical artistic decisions which must be made in the field on location in order for a photograph to become art. Without these critical decisions the photograph is merely a record, a memento, or forensic exploration. Good cameras, many filters, large printers, or great software can complicate poor vision and will never equal art.
I often see beautiful photographs of far away places which are truly spectacular. While I hope to visit some of those places and photograph them I am very interested in things around me in Georgia and surrounding states. Life can be stressful and experiencing the beauty and art around us can be calming. Additionally, for me, fine art photography and other art give me pause for hindsight, insight and reflection. If in addition to these things, my photograph is also a beautiful picture this is wonderful, but does it speak to you and nurture something within? I hope so. Thank you for visiting my web site. I hope you will return often to see and comment on my progress on this exciting journey. Charles W. Stephens